Are Protestants Christians?

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I'm not going to try to respond to everything said. Really I didnt even start this thread!

Anyways. The mystery of the gospel is that God loves the unworthy! Unworthy = worthless. I am by nature worthlessly depraved and unworthy of the love of God. Scripture clearly says this. Only when he bestows his love into us via the transformation by the Holy Spirit do we become worthy.

Another point. Scripture says over and over again that the Lord God of Israel hates sinners and wants to destroy them. You may not like this fact. But take your complaints up with the Scriptures and not with me! In fact the Lord Jesus told us that he will punish them forever by throwing them into a burning trashpit to be tormented by demons. I want to add a crucial distinction to help you reconcile this with the love of God: God hates them as sinners but loves them as his creatures. And of course ultimately his love for sinners is greater than his hatred of them. And we must have the exact same perspective as God.





 
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Carpatho Russian said:
I must be reading the wrong Bible.  Last time I checked...
"God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good." (Genesis 1:31)

Spiritually dead, maybe but certainly not utterly worthless and worthy of nothing but damnation.
"For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." (John 3:16)
Are you suggesting that the state of sinners' souls is "very good"?? That would have to be the logical implication to your arguement if you hold me by this verse. Actually God did not create sinners. They made themselves that way by depriving themselves of the divine life. Nonetheless they are still materially good specifically as creatures of God. And so is the devil. But I doubt you would say that the devil is very good, eh? Who knows though, there are a lot of optimists on this forum.
 

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pathofsolitude said:
I'm not going to try to respond to everything said. Really I didnt even start this thread!

Anyways. The mystery of the gospel is that God loves the unworthy! Unworthy = worthless. I am by nature worthlessly depraved and unworthy of the love of God. Scripture clearly says this. Only when he bestows his love into us via the transformation by the Holy Spirit do we become worthy.
I find it ironic that you've said such things about Protestants when your words sound very much like those of a Protestant, especially of the Reformed kind. Ever hear of total depravity? A Protestant idea, through and through. Also, what you say about God hating not just sins but sinners themselves---once again, that sounds like something (some!) Calvinists would say when talking about appeasing God's wrath through Christ's cloak of imputed righteousness.

But then other Protestant distinctives inflame your own righteous anger. Perhaps you would be at home in Jansenism.  ;)

Whatever you believe, friend, do you not think that such angry generalizations about 99% of Protestants going to "burn" are perhaps not said in the right spirit of love? We certainly would like to see the Protestants formally join the Church, but don't you think we could catch more flies with honey? God's mercy is beyond our estimation---we would do well to leave the judgment to God, where it belongs.
 

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Veniamin said:
Reminds me of a story our former priest used to tell of a small group that was studying that passage.  When finished, one of them started off the prayer with, "We thank you, Lord, that we are not like the Pharisee..."  :p  Father went on to point out that in those stories, we're not supposed to identify with the good guy.
Great story! If it's okay with you, I'll tell it to Father Peter at my parish so he can relate it during his homily the next time this passage shows up in the lectionary.
 

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lubeltri said:
I find it ironic that you've said such things about Protestants when your words sound very much like those of a Protestant, especially of the Reformed kind. Ever hear of total depravity? A Protestant idea, through and through. Also, what you say about God hating not just sins but sinners themselves---once again, that sounds like something (some!) Calvinists would say when talking about appeasing God's wrath through Christ's cloak of imputed righteousness.

But then other Protestant distinctives inflame your own righteous anger. Perhaps you would be at home in Jansenism.  ;)

Whatever you believe, friend, do you not think that such angry generalizations about 99% of Protestants going to "burn" are perhaps not said in the right spirit of love? We certainly would like to see the Protestants formally join the Church, but don't you think we could catch more flies with honey? God's mercy is beyond our estimation---we would do well to leave the judgment to God, where it belongs.
I agree with Luberti. Although I am not a tremendously erudite theologian, I have spent some time, before re-discovering Orthodoxy, in a Presbyterian church, and I, too, recognize the influence of the Augustinian/Calvinian concept of total depravity in the writings of our new forum colleague, Pathofsolitude. This concept is absolutely not Orthodox as far as I know.
 

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lubeltri said:
Great story! If it's okay with you, I'll tell it to Father Peter at my parish so he can relate it during his homily the next time this passage shows up in the lectionary.
Go for it; pathofsolitude not withstanding, no point in hoarding wisdom. :)
 

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Αριστοκλής said:
I actually agree with you on this, Lubeltri. I think ozgeorge has made an uncharacteristic mistake in his retort, quoting a canon from the Second Ecumenical Council (when the Church could really be considered pre-divided) in an out of time context.
The Oecumenical Patriarchate receives those baptized in the Name of the Holy Trinity by Chrisimation, it keeps this Canon. What anyone else does is none of my business. :)
 

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ozgeorge said:
The Oecumenical Patriarchate receives those baptized in the Name of the Holy Trinity by Chrisimation, it keeps this Canon. What anyone else does is none of my business. :)
:) Well, I've always liked the old boy. You can't go wrong with HAH Bartholomew.
 

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pathofsolitude said:
But take your complaints up with the Scriptures and not with me!
Common tactic among prooftexters:
1.  Preach your spurious interpretation of the Scriptures.
2.  Point to the passages of Scripture you have selected to support your interpretation.
3.  Absolve yourself of all responsibility by saying such things as "The Bible says" or "take your complaints up with the Scriptures and not with me!"

Even if we disagree with you and deem your biblical exegesis unorthodox, our complaint is not with the Scriptures; rather, our complaint is with your selective reading of the Scriptures.
 
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To those who charge me of believing the Calvinist notion of Total Depravity-

All I said was that everyone is born worthless [=unworthy] before God, totally devoid of the Holy Spirit, and on their way to eternal perdition. Why in the world would you charge me with Calvinsim? What I said is in fact exactly what Arminian Protestants believe also! [These two groups cover most of historic Protestantism.] Arminius accepted total depravity. I guess I am Arminian then too, eh? The uniquely Calvinist version of total depravity says that a man must be monergistically regenerated by a divinely ordained zap which is given only to an arbitrarily selected group of people or else he cannot [=absolutely impossible] even make the slightest move to repentance. Is this what you think I believe? I am only confessing the doctrine of Original Sin which is actually the historic Eastern Orthodox position before the antiLatin movement picked up in the 19th century. I have read old Byzantine dogmatic manuals. And they say generally the same thing I am saying.

And for you to accuse me of Jansenism is equally outrageous. Go read what RC theologians wrote about Original Sin before VaticanII. They would all be Jansensists in your eyes. And so would the Byzantines from about 1500-1830!





 

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lubeltri said:
:) Well, I've always liked the old boy. You can't go wrong with HAH Bartholomew.
LOL :D
Actually, to be fair, the difference between those jurisdictions which baptise converts from heterodox Churches and those which don't is related to the interpretation of this Canon (Canon VII of the 2nd Ecumenical Council). The Canon seems to presume baptism by triple immersion (Eunomian baptism being rejected because it is a single immersion). The issue is not simply "who" baptizes, but also the form of the baptism. Thus, a Protestant Church which holds correct Trinitarian Dogma and which baptizes in the Name of the Holy Trinity by triple immersion has a closer form of baptism to the Orthodox Church than current Roman Catholic practice of baptism by aspersion as the norm. Constantinople simply applies more "economia" in the interpretation of the Canon.
 

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Welcome pathofsolitude. I believe your definitely Orthodox. Your just not at the spiritual level as some others here yet.  :D 

Do you mind quoting this scripture for me? 

But take your complaints up with the Scriptures and not with me! In fact the Lord Jesus told us that he will punish them forever by throwing them into a burning trashpit to be tormented by demons.
 

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pathofsolitude said:
To those who charge me of believing the Calvinist notion of Total Depravity-

All I said was that everyone is born worthless [=unworthy] before God, totally devoid of the Holy Spirit, and on their way to eternal perdition. Why in the world would you charge me with Calvinsim? What I said is in fact exactly what Arminian Protestants believe also! [These two groups cover most of historic Protestantism.] Arminius accepted total depravity. I guess I am Arminian then too, eh? The uniquely Calvinist version of total depravity says that a man must be monergistically regenerated by a divinely ordained zap which is given only to an arbitrarily selected group of people or else he cannot [=absolutely impossible] even make the slightest move to repentance. Is this what you think I believe?
Well, considering that Jacobus Arminius followed after John Calvin, it could make sense to recognize that Arminius started from Calvin's doctrine of total depravity and, following a different emphasis, carried it to a different conclusion.  However, the common starting point just shows how Calvinist Arminius really was.

I am only confessing the doctrine of Original Sin which is actually the historic Eastern Orthodox position before the antiLatin movement picked up in the 19th century. I have read old Byzantine dogmatic manuals. And they say generally the same thing I am saying.
Potentially spurious claims...  Can you give us quotes from these dogmatic sources you deem "authoritative", along with the names of these manuals so we can cross-reference your citations?

And for you to accuse me of Jansenism is equally outrageous. Go read what RC theologians wrote about Original Sin before VaticanII. They would all be Jansensists in your eyes. And so would the Byzantines from about 1500-1830!
To paraphrase a line from the popular movie, Forrest Gump, Jansenism is what Jansenism does.  Rather than point out how we might consider our own Fathers Jansenists as defense of your position, why don't you tell us what Jansenism is and how your position differs?
 

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pathofsolitude said:
Thats why Jesus condemned them flat out as children of the devil. And thats the practice of the Apostles as we see from several examples in the book of Acts where they did not hesitate to condemn the godless pseudoChristians in the spirit of Matthew 23.
BTW, sorry, I am catching up here on p 3 and this will get posted on p 4

Actually, Jesus condemned Pharisees and other religious leaders of his day. There were no protestants at that time. You can't anachronistically say Jesus condemned a rather large and diverse group of people who came into being 1500 years later.

You CAN say Jesus condemned this or that particular practice, attitude, sin or wrong belief (like the Sadducees not believing in the resurrection); but you can't say Jesus condemned Protestants, you have to point ot specific wrong beliefs and/or practices that Jesus condemned which protestants practice.

Also, which Protestants? the Calvinsts or the Arminians? The Baptists or Presbyterians?  You get my point.

I think a little precision ( or perhaps a lot)  in your condemnations, and further, ratcheting down these condemnations to criticisms would be helpful to us and to yourself.
 

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BrotherAidan said:
Also, which Protestants? the Calvinsts or the Arminians? The Baptists or Presbyterians?  You get my point.

I think a little precision ( or perhaps a lot)  in your condemnations, and further, ratcheting down these condemnations to criticisms would be helpful to us and to yourself.
That's right Brother Aiden I remember I called my Uniting church friend (The Uniting church is an amalgamation between presbyterian, Methodist and the congregationalists in Australia ) got extremely offended when I referred to her as a protestant because for her it brought up negative images of fundamentalist Christians trumpeting the creation story and so forth. After that I now truly believe that there should be a distinction made between the protestant groups instead of generalizing the group (not in my life would I compare the Church of England to a pentecostal church). 
 

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pathofsolitude said:
All I said was that everyone is born worthless [=unworthy] before God, totally devoid of the Holy Spirit, and on their way to eternal perdition.
Right.  And this teaching is heterodox.

I am only confessing the doctrine of Original Sin which is actually the historic Eastern Orthodox position...
No, it isn't.  You are actually reflecting a Western tendency concerning the teaching of original sin.

I have read old Byzantine dogmatic manuals. And they say generally the same thing I am saying.
You must have been reading "manuals" that date from the time of the "Western captivity" of the Greek Church, which it only painfully began to emerge from, theologically speaking, in the late 1950's.

And so would the Byzantines from about 1500-1830!
News flash.  There was no "Byzantine" state after 1453.  Morever, during the Turkocracy and the period after it, until very recently, there was not a whole lot of good theology coming forth from the Greek Church.  A great intellectual tradition died along with the East Roman (Byzantine) state.  So you've very possibly been reading a pile of scholastic garbage that is worse than that penned by Aquinas and others, since some of the Western writing at least had some original and creative thought put into it, instead of the second-rate derivative things penned by Greeks schooled in Roman or (irony of ironies!) Protestant theological schools and seminaries!

 

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lubeltri said:
I find it ironic that you've said such things about Protestants when your words sound very much like those of a Protestant...
I echo these sentiments. 

Whatever you believe, friend, do you not think that such angry generalizations about 99% of Protestants going to "burn" are perhaps not said in the right spirit of love?
And these ones.
 

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ozgeorge said:
The Oecumenical Patriarchate receives those baptized in the Name of the Holy Trinity by Chrisimation, it keeps this Canon. What anyone else does is none of my business. :)
Not the point, ozgeorge.  Any bishop can do this - the jurisdictions which require baptism are correct as well, or notwithstanding.
 

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Αριστοκλής said:
Not the point, ozgeorge.  Any bishop can do this - the jurisdictions which require baptism are correct as well, or notwithstanding.
Which is why I said this: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13214.msg181635.html#msg181635
 

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ozgeorge said:
Which is why I said this: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13214.msg181635.html#msg181635
Yes, ozG, but "economia" is an exception made to the canons made without intent to set precedent.
 

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I'm not sure I see your point. The Canon comes from the Second Ecumenical Council, two generations after the First Ecumenical Council in which Arianism was anathematized; yet the Canon says that those who had received Arian baptism were received into the Orthodox Church by Chrisimation, not Baptism- isn't this the precedent?
 

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ozgeorge said:
I'm not sure I see your point. The Canon comes from the Second Ecumenical Council, two generations after the First Ecumenical Council in which Arianism was anathematized; yet the Canon says that those who had received Arian baptism were received into the Orthodox Church by Chrisimation, not Baptism- isn't this the precedent?
Arians were in error to be sure, but the canon set the precedent- this is not 'economia' - for them and other listed heretics. But this council does not cover every instance of those considered in error or outside the Church.
 

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pathofsolitude said:
To those who charge me of believing the Calvinist notion of Total Depravity-

All I said was that everyone is born worthless [=unworthy] before God, totally devoid of the Holy Spirit, and on their way to eternal perdition. Why in the world would you charge me with Calvinsim? What I said is in fact exactly what Arminian Protestants believe also! [These two groups cover most of historic Protestantism.] Arminius accepted total depravity. I guess I am Arminian then too, eh? The uniquely Calvinist version of total depravity says that a man must be monergistically regenerated by a divinely ordained zap which is given only to an arbitrarily selected group of people or else he cannot [=absolutely impossible] even make the slightest move to repentance. Is this what you think I believe? I am only confessing the doctrine of Original Sin which is actually the historic Eastern Orthodox position before the antiLatin movement picked up in the 19th century. I have read old Byzantine dogmatic manuals. And they say generally the same thing I am saying.

And for you to accuse me of Jansenism is equally outrageous. Go read what RC theologians wrote about Original Sin before VaticanII. They would all be Jansensists in your eyes. And so would the Byzantines from about 1500-1830!
Dear Pathofsolitude,

First of all, I don't think anyone here was "accusing" you of anything.

Second, yes, the whole notion of original sin is Heterodox. It does sound outrageous to all who were brought up in the Western Christian tradition - both Roman Catholic and Protestant. But that's the whole point; the Orthodox Church does not teach that people are intrinsically sinful or "depraved." That was St./Bl. Augustine's interpretation of Scripture, which eastern Fathers never embraced. Their interpretation was that people were and still are intrinsically good. We sin because we are born into the world where it is easier to sin than not to sin, plus we all have a natural propensity or inclination toward sin. But we are, nonetheless, not born "sinners" or "in sin." We all have a "sparkle" of good in us, we are absolutely capable of doing good and choosing good; we still are God's most favored, most cherished creatures who can by their own effort serve God and glorify Him, and who very often do so.

Quoting selected "proof texts" and saying, "here's what the Bible says," is not Orthodox either, as far as I know.

So good to have you here. I hope and pray that you stay with us on this forum!

Best wishes,

George (not OzGeorge - a MississippiGeorge :) )
 

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jlerms said:
Amen to that Sophia!

a lowly sinner,   Juliana



Hi, Juliana!  I'm new to these boards and I look forward to learning and sharing.  Thanks for your encouragement!

Grace and peace of our Lord Christ Jesus be with you always!

Sophia
 

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Jibrail Almuhajir said:
Is that St. Michael Jackson? :D

Oh, you're quick!  LOL!!    Could be..........'ya never know  :)  LOL



Actually,  part of my hubby's mangement training included extensive "Diversity University" training.  This was part of the teaching in one of the many classes. 

Grace and Peace,

Sophia
 

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Sophia said:
PathofSolitude: when I read your original post, a parable in Luke came to my mind:

Luke 18:9-14
Jesus told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, `God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, `God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted."

If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make that change!

May the Grace and Peace of our Lord Christ Jesus be with you!

Sophia
What a beautiful post. I think 99% of the time (at least for me) we are the problem, not others.
 

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Heorhij said:
Yes, a total redneck, albeit with an Eastern European accent.  ??? :-\
You are not the only one! I have a quite noticable accent, I always get asked, are you greek? russian? but never serbian heh.
 

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pathofsolitude...

You have repeatedly been asked to clarify what your prior and current spiritual practice is...
and you do nothing but avoid answering.

Could you please answer this vital question before making ANY other statements?
It would be much appreciated.  :)
 

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_Seraphim_ said:
pathofsolitude...

You have repeatedly been asked to clarify what your prior and current spiritual practice is...
and you do nothing but avoid answering.

Could you please answer this vital question before making ANY other statements?
It would be much appreciated.  :)
Our friend hasn't been on since Sunday.  Give them time.
 
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_Seraphim_ said:
pathofsolitude...

You have repeatedly been asked to clarify what your prior and current spiritual practice is...
and you do nothing but avoid answering.

Could you please answer this vital question before making ANY other statements?
It would be much appreciated.  :)
Unabashed uncanonically Orthodox  ;)
 
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Pravoslavbob said:
News flash.  There was no "Byzantine" state after 1453.  
Thanks for this very up-to-date information. Anything else I didnt know? Needless for me to say, the Eastern Orthodox church still calls itself, its liturgy, its theology, etc etc "Byzantine."
 
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Heorhij said:
Second, yes, the whole notion of original sin is Heterodox. It does sound outrageous to all who were brought up in the Western Christian tradition - both Roman Catholic and Protestant. But that's the whole point; the Orthodox Church does not teach that people are intrinsically sinful or "depraved." That was St./Bl. Augustine's interpretation of Scripture, which eastern Fathers never embraced. Their interpretation was that people were and still are intrinsically good. We sin because we are born into the world where it is easier to sin than not to sin, plus we all have a natural propensity or inclination toward sin. But we are, nonetheless, not born "sinners" or "in sin." We all have a "sparkle" of good in us, we are absolutely capable of doing good and choosing good; we still are God's most favored, most cherished creatures who can by their own effort serve God and glorify Him, and who very often do so.
To my dear George,

This is heresy!! Orthodox theologians teach that everyone is born spiritually depraved. Why do you think we baptize and chrismate babies? Whats the point if they already have the Holy Spirit? The true doctrine of Original Sin says that man is born in a state of spiritual death. Scripture calls this sin. [Harmartia= miss the mark, fall short of the glory.] Because of this sin God does not usually admit them into his kingdom until they are baptized. This is what the Orthodox church has always taught.

And how do you think that atheists are *only* intrinsically good? Talk about onesided!

Then you add the Pelagian heresy that sinners are "absolutely capable of doing and choosing good", and "can by their own effort serve God and glorify him," and "very often do so." Anathema, anathema, one thousand anathemas! All the saints teach that grace is absolutely necessary for man to cooperate in salvation. Its impossible for man to please God merely by his own effort.

Well George, I really dont know what to say to you. I hope that you and all my detractors come to your senses.
 
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Αριστοκλής said:
"Byzantine" - a western term, popularized by Gibbon.
I guess its usage by the Eastern Orthodox is part of the socalled "western captivity" then. There is no need to squibble over terms here and get sidetracked.
 

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pathofsolitude said:
I guess its usage by the Eastern Orthodox is part of the socalled "western captivity" then. There is no need to squibble over terms here and get sidetracked.
And you may apply that to the term "Eastern Orthodox" as well.
 
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