Christian unity: Poll

In your opinion what is a good enough reason for Christians to unite into one church?

  • Everyone else needs to agree 100% with my church's theology.

    Votes: 39 50.0%
  • Jesus is the only thing that matters, theology is stupid.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • RC's EO's and OO's should lift the anathemas and let each other co-exist in communion.

    Votes: 14 17.9%
  • A compromised or an agreed upon statement of faith is all that's necessary for all Christians regard

    Votes: 4 5.1%
  • Unity?! I hope those heretics burn in Hell!

    Votes: 3 3.8%
  • Other. EXPLAIN!!!!

    Votes: 18 23.1%

  • Total voters
    78

AntoniousNikolas

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Orthodox11 said:
One may also ask, "to what extent is it appropriate to refer to those outside the Church as Christian?"
I agree.  And I think that anyone who tries to characterize what you're saying as uncharitable is misinterpreting your post.

"Self-identifying" as Christian isn't enough.  Some sort of working definition needs to be established for the purposes of discussion.

If I don't believe the Lord Jesus is God in the Flesh, rose from the dead, or even worked any miracles, but I follow His "moral teachings" a la Jefferson's The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth am I a Christian?

If I don't believe in the Holy Trinity and claim such a concept is foreign to the New Testament am I a Christian?

If I incorporate spirit possession and other polytheistic practices into my "worship" and cloak it in a Christian veneer, am I a Christian?

If I believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ came back again as Haile Selassie, am I a Christian?

If I am a polygamist because I think such a thing is a "Biblical concept which Jesus never specifically removed" am I a Christian?

If I "follow Jesus but not the distortions of Paul or Constantine" am I a Christian?

If I believe that the Bible forbids "interracial" relationships and that God made some "races" better than others, am I a Christian?

If I believe that I can be a Christian and simultaneously be a Mason, a Skull & Bones member, or a "Christian Buddhist" am I a Christian?

If I believe that Jehovah is a man who lives on another planet and came down to "father" the Lord Jesus in a conventional human manner, am I a Christian?

Plenty of people who self-identify as "Christian" believe in exactly these sorts of things.  I made a point not to put a single thing on my little list there unless I had personally dialogued with a person who had told me just such a thing at some point in my life.  I don't think establishing a working definition for the purposes of dialogue or discussion is a bad thing, but rather a necessary thing.
 

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Antonious Nikolas said:
Orthodox11 said:
One may also ask, "to what extent is it appropriate to refer to those outside the Church as Christian?"
I agree.  And I think that anyone who tries to characterize what you're saying as uncharitable is misinterpreting your post.
I think it could be uncharitable, although it could be not mainly out of uncharitability, but just a definition of Christianity


"Self-identifying" as Christian isn't enough.  Some sort of working definition needs to be established for the purposes of discussion.

If I don't believe the Lord Jesus is God in the Flesh, rose from the dead, or even worked any miracles, but I follow His "moral teachings" a la Jefferson's The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth am I a Christian?
I think so, you are follower of Christ.

If I don't believe in the Holy Trinity and claim such a concept is foreign to the New Testament am I a Christian?
I think you are follower of Christ.

If I incorporate spirit possession and other polytheistic practices into my "worship" and cloak it in a Christian veneer, am I a Christian?
This sounds like the [crazy?] Charismatic movement in the Catholic Church. If it is just incorporation of bad practices, but faith is Christian, I think still Christian you are.

If I believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ came back again as Haile Selassie, am I a Christian?
It seems not, because you are follower of combined Selassie-Jesus, and I think that has been infiltrated too much by another person. it's not just rejection of doctrines, you are following another person as if Jesus. It's arguable you are Christian, but I think no.

If I am a polygamist because I think such a thing is a "Biblical concept which Jesus never specifically removed" am I a Christian? I think so, just following ecil practices.

If I "follow Jesus but not the distortions of Paul or Constantine" am I a Christian?
Yep.

If I believe that the Bible forbids "interracial" relationships and that God made some "races" better than others, am I a Christian?
Yeah, but you need help on this.

If I believe that I can be a Christian and simultaneously be a Mason, a Skull & Bones member, or a "Christian Buddhist" am I a Christian?

Not a very consistent one in practice, but if you do believe in Jesus and not in Jebulon (Masons' God), then yeah.

If I believe that Jehovah is a man who lives on another planet and came down to "father" the Lord Jesus in a conventional human manner, am I a Christian?

This is so different than Jesus, and the writings they use are so different than the Bible, that it's as if they are not talking about the same human being.



So in conclusion, the idea of Rastafarians and Mormons actually is so distant from the human person Jesus, that I think no. At least with Jefferson and JWs, they have the right human being in mind. They do put themselves under the person who was Jesus, even if their understanding or obedience is very confused or wrong. With Rastafarians and Mormons they actually are not under the same person- the Rastas have combined Him with another human individual, and the Mormons as you said are talking of someone from another planet, not someone from Bethlehem and heaven. So it's just that they do not think of the person Jesus with wrong understanding, they are thinking of someone physically different.

Meanwhile, I think that Arians, Jehovah's witnesses, and now that I think of it, even Muslims are Christians because they follow the person who is Christ. However, they have very wrong understandings about who he is (they don't believe He is fully God, I think), and they also have wrong scriptures. But we can go to Bethlehem, the Theotokos, and His birth, and I think Muslims and JWs would say, yes, that's Him, we follow Him.

But with Rastas, they would say here's Selassie physically, this is physically Jesus, and the answer is No, He isn't. And with Mormons, you would go looking for Jesus at time of His birth on another planet and wouldn't find his physical body there. Also, if Masons do in fact deny Christ (I have heard this is in their writings someplace), then they aren't Christian. Also, if they worship Jebulon as a combination of ancient deities, then it seems their God isn't the same one as Christianity's, Islam, or Judaism's, it is actually a combination of non-Jehovah deities.

Further, Satanism and Scientology are not "churches." One is the opposite of a church and the other is a tax scheme with a "crossed-out cross" and explicit satanic origins- a strong statement but this is very strongly the hidden case!
 

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You're very astute at discerning exactly what most of these folks actually were.  Well done!  :D

I have to say, though, that while I agree with you on certain points, I disagree on others.  I guess my definition of a Christian is a little more narrow than yours, but that's cool.  We're neither of us definitive.

I suppose in a way it boils down to what we mean by the term Christian.  If, as you say, we mean merely "a follower of Christ", whatever we may conceive of Christ as being, then I suppose we'd have to include those who think He was merely "a man" (Jeffersonian deists, "Christian Buddhists", Muslims), a hybrid sired by a spaceman (Mormons - remember, they think a humanoid Jehovah came from another planet - not his son Jesus, whom he sired on Earth), and those who worship Him alongside or in combination with other deities ("Christian Rastas", some polytheistic cultists).

However, if by Christian we mean a follower of the Faith actually established by Christ and His Apostles in the first century AD, the definition becomes much more narrow.  Depending on who you talk to, this could mean members of the authentic Apostolic Churches only, or members of one particular communion.  I think that an organic, authentic continuity with the Church established by Christ and His Apostles should be part of the definition somewhere, and this certainly narrows the field for me.

Using the former definition, unity between all "Christians" would be impossible and undesirable (unless, of course, they recanted all their heretical beliefs).  Using the latter, it would be difficult, but quite possible indeed (especially in the case of unity with the EO and the OO and maybe some of the other Apostolic Churches after much honest discussion and the recanting of certain points by those who are in error - maybe 1000 years from now! - LOL!) and I'd love to see this happen eventually.
 

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You're very astute at discerning exactly what most of these folks actually were.  Well done!  :D

I have to say, though, that while I agree with you on certain points, I disagree on others.  I guess my definition of a Christian is a little more narrow than yours, but that's cool.  We're neither of us definitive.
Sure, if it means right knowledge, understanding of, and following Christ, very few nonOrthodox might fit it.
Even very few Orthodox will fit this, because we have not physically met him in his time, we only do our best to learn more. Many of us do not have such complete knowledge, and have misunderstandings.

You might be able to say that nonChalcedonians, or Catholics, or other groups' "understanding" of Christ is so different, or they are not in The canonical church, so that they are not Christian. But I disagree, and not just on a spiritual level, where I say I think Protestants follow Jesus too. It seems that Christian is supporter/follower of Christ, and I believe that many JWs are sincere in their attempt to follow him, and the Him is the same individual- Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. Whether they recognize that Christ is also God, they still follow Christ.

I suppose in a way it boils down to what we mean by the term Christian.  If, as you say, we mean merely "a follower of Christ", whatever we may conceive of Christ as being, then I suppose we'd have to include those who think He was merely "a man" (Jeffersonian deists, "Christian Buddhists", Muslims), a hybrid sired by a spaceman (Mormons - remember, they think a humanoid Jehovah came from another planet - not his son Jesus, whom he sired on Earth), and those who worship Him alongside or in combination with other deities ("Christian Rastas", some polytheistic cultists).
Did you read my post where I said Mormons are not Christian? I don't think it is "whatever we may conceive of Christ as being". If you are not worshipping Jesus born in Bethlehem, you are worshipping a different individual, a hybrid sired by a spaceman (Mormons - remember, they think a humanoid Jehovah came from another planet - not his son Jesus, whom he sired on Earth),
Also, those who worship Him alongside or in combination with other deities ("Christian Rastas", some polytheistic cultists) are not Christian, I think, because they have combined Him with someone else-Selassie- so it is no longer really Jesus. I mean, if a tadpole turns into a frog, it's not a tadpole anymore. I don't think that Jesus of Nazareth is Selassie. So worshipping a combined Jesus-Selassie is not Christian, because I don't think such exists.

It's true that Jesus being God is different from just being Jesus. But people who still believe in Jesus and not that Jesus IS God (like Muslims) still believe in Jesus Christ. So there is a difference I think. I am surprised to conclude, by the way, that a supposed Byzantine misconception that Islam was a Christian apocryphal sect (it relies on apocryphal writings) is true in this sense.


However, if by Christian we mean a follower of the Faith actually established by Christ and His Apostles in the first century AD, the definition becomes much more narrow.  Depending on who you talk to, this could mean members of the authentic Apostolic Churches only, or members of one particular communion.  I think that an organic, authentic continuity with the Church established by Christ and His Apostles should be part of the definition somewhere, and this certainly narrows the field for me.
I am not sure of this. There were centurions were followed Christ and believed in him, yet were outside the institutional church, so I don't believe that being Christian is part of the definition itself, although it could be EVIDENCE that the person is a Christian.
The Centurion might not have had right understanding or been baptised (such is true with some martyrs I think), but I think we can say he and others were followers and Christians

Using the former definition, unity between all "Christians" would be impossible and undesirable (unless, of course, they recanted all their heretical beliefs).  
OK.

Using the latter, it would be difficult, but quite possible indeed and I'd love to see this happen eventually.
So what? We can't change meanings of words just to make it sound like now all the Christians are together when the TRADITIONAL CHRISTIANS unite. Then you just move the debate over to who is a "traditional Christian". And it could turn out that wacko noncanonical sects are more "traditional Christian" by your definition, than some big churches, yet we still find it best to focus on mainstream churches, and not wacko compound "Orthodox" sects.

So rather than get into mind problems of who is Christian, and happily define it as "just us", we should say it means follower and believer in Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ.
 

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rakovsky said:
Wyatt said:
rakovsky said:
Wyatt said:
I voted for "RC's EO's and OO's should lift the anathemas and let each other co-exist in communion," but after having voted for that I realize that that should only be the first step. We should then work on Protestants coming back into the fold, but I do not think that will be able to happen in any large capacity until the Apostolic Churches are reunited.
It is more likely that Protestants, Orientals, and Orthodox will all join together than Catholics will join with Protestantism, Orthodoxy, and the Orientals. the reason is that the Pope considers himself Supreme, unequal, sometimes infallible, and as such demands OBEDIENCE in all matters of faith. Consequently, no one can reunite with Rome without abandoning all of their autocephaly and own separate faith beliefs.

This is reflected in Orthodox and Protestants belonging to the ecumenical WCC (whatever its faults) without the Catholic Church.

There is a huge imbalance of political power and a doctrinal obstacle about UNRIVALED SUPREMACY and OBEDIENCE that exists between the Catholic Church and all other churches.

With the reduction of the power of Bysantium/Greece and Egypt/Alexandria as ancient power-rivals, I do see a much more likely chance that power will not obscure our views and we can much more objectively review doctrinal differences while staying loyal to our own traditions and good faith ecumenism between eachother.


It may turn out that the Chalcedonian churches are closest to eachother in terms of basic foundations of understanding of God's nature, but because of the strong political power situations, (which allegedly added to problems around Chalcedon), we may be able to overcome these divisions  between the 7-Council Orthodox and Oriental churches.
It's funny that you say that. I was a Protestant all my life until I entered the Catholic Church in 2007. I, my dad, and my cousin all joined at the same time. All of us were formerly Protestant Christians. The next year a friend of mine as well as two of my dad's friends (all former Protestants) joined the Catholic Church. Right now a good friend of mine (a Protestant) is attending Catholic inquiry classes. He usually drives me to Mass and attends Mass with me because I have a disability and need transportation. Through doing this for me he has become interested in the Catholic faith.

If you have ever watched EWTN and seen the Journey Home, everyday you hear stories of mostly former Protestants who entered the Catholic Church. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know for myself, the Pope never "demanded" anything from me whenever I was a Protestant. I came to Rome willingly. I would imagine the same is true for the others as well. ;)

Now that I think about it...perhaps we don't need reunion of the Apostolic Churches before reaching out to Protestants. Seems like the Protestants are coming home just fine. :)
My 2 cents: Protestants should come home to Catholic Church, with apostolic succession and subjection to church traditions. Catholics should, if possible, urge their leaders to abandon inventions of the early Middle Ages- the filioque, papal infallibility, required obedience to pope in all matters of faith, purgatory.

Luther might have thrown the baby out with the bath water, but there was alot of bath water with accumulated baby fluids.


I like Catholics. Only bad thing is if the "Leadership" abuses them, and says they "MUST" bow down as if it is vicar of Christ on earth or something.

Regards, Sympathies, and Blessings on your spiritual journey.
Perhaps the other issues you have mentioned can be softened or clarified to be made acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches, but, personally, I would not agree to abandoning Purgatory.
Purgatory just makes a whole lot of sense to me as I don;t see anyone burning in hellfire eternally for some of the lessor sins. There are so many examples and it is just too obvious that there are lessor sins and there are greater sins and that many of the lessor sins, although they may be a blemish or imperfection on your soul, do not merit eternal damnation in hell. So, no, I would not in good conscience,  be able to give up this idea of Purgatory, although, like I said, I would agree to a modification, softening, or clarification of the other teachings so that they can be reformulated in such a way as to be acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches. 
 

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rakovsky said:
My 2 cents: Protestants should come home to Catholic Church,
You don't think that they should return to your church directly, if possible, instead?
 

AntoniousNikolas

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Well, I suppose you'll define "Christians" according to your own criteria and I'll define them according to mine.  Your way may seem logical to you, but it seems arbitrary in places to me.

For example, a tadpole is still the same creature once it becomes a frog.  It has just changed its physical form, and I'm sure that is what a Rasta would say about Haile Selassie, who they regard as "Christ in His Kingly Character", the same man in a different form.

I could tell you why I disagree with you proclamations regarding the Protestants, Mormons, and JWs as well, but it'd all be to no avail.  Your criteria makes sense to you, and mine makes sense to me.

Perhaps the original poster and creator of the poll should define "Christian" for us according to his terms.
 

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stanley123 said:
Perhaps the other issues you have mentioned can be softened or clarified to be made acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches, but, personally, I would not agree to abandoning Purgatory.
Purgatory just makes a whole lot of sense to me as I don;t see anyone burning in hellfire eternally for some of the lessor sins. There are so many examples and it is just too obvious that there are lessor sins and there are greater sins and that many of the lessor sins, although they may be a blemish or imperfection on your soul, do not merit eternal damnation in hell. So, no, I would not in good conscience,  be able to give up this idea of Purgatory, although, like I said, I would agree to a modification, softening, or clarification of the other teachings so that they can be reformulated in such a way as to be acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches. 
I think you are misunderstanding the issue with Purgatory. We actually do believe in the purgation of minor sins. Actually, there have been some writers who have said that we believe in the purgation of "the most grievous of sins". The problem with Purgatory is not the purgation. It is the matter of it being a third thing. There is not a foretaste of bliss or torment in Purgatory. It is thus set up as a third state. But we believe that there can only be two states in relation to God: bliss or torment. Any purgation that occurs must happen within those. Thus there is purgation but no third place or state known as Purgatory.
 

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deusveritasest said:
stanley123 said:
Perhaps the other issues you have mentioned can be softened or clarified to be made acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches, but, personally, I would not agree to abandoning Purgatory.
Purgatory just makes a whole lot of sense to me as I don;t see anyone burning in hellfire eternally for some of the lessor sins. There are so many examples and it is just too obvious that there are lessor sins and there are greater sins and that many of the lessor sins, although they may be a blemish or imperfection on your soul, do not merit eternal damnation in hell. So, no, I would not in good conscience,  be able to give up this idea of Purgatory, although, like I said, I would agree to a modification, softening, or clarification of the other teachings so that they can be reformulated in such a way as to be acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches. 
I think you are misunderstanding the issue with Purgatory. We actually do believe in the purgation of minor sins. Actually, there have been some writers who have said that we believe in the purgation of "the most grievous of sins". The problem with Purgatory is not the purgation. It is the matter of it being a third thing. There is not a foretaste of bliss or torment in Purgatory. It is thus set up as a third state. But we believe that there can only be two states in relation to God: bliss or torment. Any purgation that occurs must happen within those. Thus there is purgation but no third place or state known as Purgatory.
Well, if it is going to be a matter of semantics, then it seems like Purgatory or belief in purgation  is not a problem after all.
 

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stanley123 said:
deusveritasest said:
stanley123 said:
Perhaps the other issues you have mentioned can be softened or clarified to be made acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches, but, personally, I would not agree to abandoning Purgatory.
Purgatory just makes a whole lot of sense to me as I don;t see anyone burning in hellfire eternally for some of the lessor sins. There are so many examples and it is just too obvious that there are lessor sins and there are greater sins and that many of the lessor sins, although they may be a blemish or imperfection on your soul, do not merit eternal damnation in hell. So, no, I would not in good conscience,  be able to give up this idea of Purgatory, although, like I said, I would agree to a modification, softening, or clarification of the other teachings so that they can be reformulated in such a way as to be acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches. 
I think you are misunderstanding the issue with Purgatory. We actually do believe in the purgation of minor sins. Actually, there have been some writers who have said that we believe in the purgation of "the most grievous of sins". The problem with Purgatory is not the purgation. It is the matter of it being a third thing. There is not a foretaste of bliss or torment in Purgatory. It is thus set up as a third state. But we believe that there can only be two states in relation to God: bliss or torment. Any purgation that occurs must happen within those. Thus there is purgation but no third place or state known as Purgatory.
Well, if it is going to be a matter of semantics, then it seems like Purgatory or belief in purgation  is not a problem after all.
It's not just a matter of semantics. It seems to us that the Roman tradition creates a third state that is neither torment or bliss. This idea we reject.
 

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stanley123 said:
Perhaps the other issues you have mentioned can be softened or clarified to be made acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches, but, personally, I would not agree to abandoning Purgatory.
Purgatory just makes a whole lot of sense to me as I don;t see anyone burning in hellfire eternally for some of the lessor sins. There are so many examples and it is just too obvious that there are lessor sins and there are greater sins and that many of the lessor sins, although they may be a blemish or imperfection on your soul, do not merit eternal damnation in hell. So, no, I would not in good conscience,  be able to give up this idea of Purgatory, although, like I said, I would agree to a modification, softening, or clarification of the other teachings so that they can be reformulated in such a way as to be acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches. 
Jesus washes away your sins, mortal and venial. The psychology that you MUST be punished is Old Testament. I believe God loves us and can forgive us. That is what the atonement is about. If you come into communion with Jesus and he forgives you, no "need" for purgatory. What you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Purgatory seems to me perhaps even more spurious than some other ideas like the filioque, which could be "reinterpreted" or something.
 

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deusveritasest said:
rakovsky said:
My 2 cents: Protestants should come home to Catholic Church,
You don't think that they should return to your church directly, if possible, instead?
They Should! As you said I think elsewhere, the Orthodox Church is the catholic Church.
If going through the Catholic church helps them on the process it seems good. However, I am not sure if it is helpful to reject some problems for others. Maybe I am placing apostolic succession, liturgical forms, and church tradition above other things. But it seems like a person could have a strong focus on returning to the early church, and the popular idea among Protestants is that Catholicism is the early church + distortions, whereas the idea is that Protestantism is just "Biblical-style" Christianity with no concern for replicating the early church or traditions. So going back to Catholic church could be part of a search for the early church. This is the feeling I get when I see the structure and forms of Catholicism as more similar to Orthodoxy.

On the other hand, MAYBE THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE! I think Luther wanted to get back to authentic Christianity. Maybe a catholic could give up the inventions, go to Protestantism, feel alot is missing, and then find Orthodoxy. So I am not sure.

Your thoughts on whether joining Catholicism is a step forward for Protestants, please?
 

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rakovsky said:
Your thoughts on whether joining Catholicism is a step forward for Protestants, please?
I do think that the Protestants actually did make some improvements over Romanism.

And I do tend to think that some of the High Reformation Protestants might actually be closer to orthodoxy than the Romanists.

But overall I think Romanism is closer to orthodoxy than Protestantism and a Protestant joining the Roman church would be a step in the right direction.
 

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rakovsky said:
stanley123 said:
Perhaps the other issues you have mentioned can be softened or clarified to be made acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches, but, personally, I would not agree to abandoning Purgatory.
Purgatory just makes a whole lot of sense to me as I don;t see anyone burning in hellfire eternally for some of the lessor sins. There are so many examples and it is just too obvious that there are lessor sins and there are greater sins and that many of the lessor sins, although they may be a blemish or imperfection on your soul, do not merit eternal damnation in hell. So, no, I would not in good conscience,  be able to give up this idea of Purgatory, although, like I said, I would agree to a modification, softening, or clarification of the other teachings so that they can be reformulated in such a way as to be acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches. 
Jesus washes away your sins, mortal and venial. The psychology that you MUST be punished is Old Testament. I believe God loves us and can forgive us. That is what the atonement is about. If you come into communion with Jesus and he forgives you, no "need" for purgatory. What you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Purgatory seems to me perhaps even more spurious than some other ideas like the filioque, which could be "reinterpreted" or something.
Hal,

You bring up another fundamental problem there is with Purgatory.

It is primarily founded on the idea that all sins must eventually be punished, and that "mortal sins" must be absolved or punish in eternal hellfire, whereas "venial sins" can be punished in Purgatory and then move someone onto Heaven. They even teach that if a venial sin has been absolved that the punishment for it still has to be suffered in Purgatory.

On this point we are also inclined to disagree. Not only do absolved sins need any longer be punished, but God is not ultimately concerned with punishments of sins in and of itself anyway. For us purgation is a matter of preparing and changing the soul to be compatible with God's Kingdom, not a legal concern.
 

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My understanding is that one of the main differences has to do with purgatory (purgation, purification, whatever term you wish to use) is the RC use of legalistic language to describe it as a legal punishment vs the Orthodox expression of something similar to a refining process. This difference leads to the practice where a legal punishment can be declared to be remitted (indulgences), where you can not just declare a refining process to be past a certain point.
 

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deusveritasest said:
stanley123 said:
deusveritasest said:
stanley123 said:
Perhaps the other issues you have mentioned can be softened or clarified to be made acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches, but, personally, I would not agree to abandoning Purgatory.
Purgatory just makes a whole lot of sense to me as I don;t see anyone burning in hellfire eternally for some of the lessor sins. There are so many examples and it is just too obvious that there are lessor sins and there are greater sins and that many of the lessor sins, although they may be a blemish or imperfection on your soul, do not merit eternal damnation in hell. So, no, I would not in good conscience,  be able to give up this idea of Purgatory, although, like I said, I would agree to a modification, softening, or clarification of the other teachings so that they can be reformulated in such a way as to be acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches. 
I think you are misunderstanding the issue with Purgatory. We actually do believe in the purgation of minor sins. Actually, there have been some writers who have said that we believe in the purgation of "the most grievous of sins". The problem with Purgatory is not the purgation. It is the matter of it being a third thing. There is not a foretaste of bliss or torment in Purgatory. It is thus set up as a third state. But we believe that there can only be two states in relation to God: bliss or torment. Any purgation that occurs must happen within those. Thus there is purgation but no third place or state known as Purgatory.
Well, if it is going to be a matter of semantics, then it seems like Purgatory or belief in purgation  is not a problem after all.
It's not just a matter of semantics. It seems to us that the Roman tradition creates a third state that is neither torment or bliss. This idea we reject.
If you reject it then why do you pray for the dead? Surely one already experiencing bliss doesn't need prayers, and prayers will do nothing for one who is already experiencing the torments of hell.
 

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Wyatt said:
deusveritasest said:
stanley123 said:
deusveritasest said:
stanley123 said:
Perhaps the other issues you have mentioned can be softened or clarified to be made acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches, but, personally, I would not agree to abandoning Purgatory.
Purgatory just makes a whole lot of sense to me as I don;t see anyone burning in hellfire eternally for some of the lessor sins. There are so many examples and it is just too obvious that there are lessor sins and there are greater sins and that many of the lessor sins, although they may be a blemish or imperfection on your soul, do not merit eternal damnation in hell. So, no, I would not in good conscience,  be able to give up this idea of Purgatory, although, like I said, I would agree to a modification, softening, or clarification of the other teachings so that they can be reformulated in such a way as to be acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches. 
I think you are misunderstanding the issue with Purgatory. We actually do believe in the purgation of minor sins. Actually, there have been some writers who have said that we believe in the purgation of "the most grievous of sins". The problem with Purgatory is not the purgation. It is the matter of it being a third thing. There is not a foretaste of bliss or torment in Purgatory. It is thus set up as a third state. But we believe that there can only be two states in relation to God: bliss or torment. Any purgation that occurs must happen within those. Thus there is purgation but no third place or state known as Purgatory.
Well, if it is going to be a matter of semantics, then it seems like Purgatory or belief in purgation  is not a problem after all.
It's not just a matter of semantics. It seems to us that the Roman tradition creates a third state that is neither torment or bliss. This idea we reject.
If you reject it then why do you pray for the dead? Surely one already experiencing bliss doesn't need prayers, and prayers will do nothing for one who is already experiencing the torments of hell.
Those experiencing the foretaste of Heaven after their death may still be in need of purification before they are able to actually enter into the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven.

And yes, we believe that prayers may affect the fate of those experiencing the foretaste of eternal torment.
 

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deusveritasest said:
Those experiencing the foretaste of Heaven after their death may still be in need of purification before they are able to actually enter into the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven.
You just described Purgatory.

deusveritasest said:
And yes, we believe that prayers may affect the fate of those experiencing the foretaste of eternal torment.
Here I would disagree as this makes it sound like you can essentially "pray someone out of Hell" which the Catholic Church rejects. Everyone undergoing purification that can be helped by the prayers of the Church Militant are already saved. One who is damned cannot be saved by any amount of prayers.
 

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Antonious Nikolas said:
Well, I suppose you'll define "Christians" according to your own criteria and I'll define them according to mine.  Your way may seem logical to you, but it seems arbitrary in places to me.

For example, a tadpole is still the same creature once it becomes a frog.  It has just changed its physical form, and I'm sure that is what a Rasta would say about Haile Selassie, who they regard as "Christ in His Kingly Character", the same man in a different form.

I could tell you why I disagree with you proclamations regarding the Protestants, Mormons, and JWs as well, but it'd all be to no avail.  Your criteria makes sense to you, and mine makes sense to me.

Perhaps the original poster and creator of the poll should define "Christian" for us according to his terms.
Authoritative Russian Dictionary Ozheg's says:

Толковый словарь Ожегова
Ожегов Сергей Иванович

ОЖЕГОВ Сергей Иванович (1900-64) - российский языковед, лексиколог, лексикограф, исследователь норм русского литературного языка, доктор филологических наук.

ХРИСТИАНИ́Н, -а, мн. -ане, -ан, муж. Последователь христианства.
• Духовные христиане возникшее на рубеже 1718 вв. направление в сектантстве (духоборы, молокане, хлысты и нек-рые др.), противопоставляющее себя православной церкви и провозглашающее веру в то, что святой дух может воплотиться в каждом отдельном человеке.


Russian Dictionary HAS SPOKEN!

Christian: Follower of Christianity.
Example: *Spiritual Christians arose on the edge of 1718 AD directed to sektarianism (Spiritfighters- group supported by Tolstoy that emigrated to Canada, Milkdrinkers-peaceniks who moved to North Dakota, whippers - Rasputin I think and some others), conflicting themselves with the Orthodox Church and announcing belief that the Holy Spirit can incarnate in every separate person.

The example here are basically kinds of Russian protestant movements, although they do not use the word Protestant. I think that Tolstoy tried to follow Jesus, although he didn't believe in the miracles, and I think the SpiritFighters sect (similar to Quakerism), probably had similar beliefs.




However interesting, INTERPRETIVE RUSSIAN DICTIONARY OZHEG'S continues:

ХРИСТИА́НСТВО, -а, ср. Одна из трёх мировых религий, основанная на культе (служение божеству и связанные с этим действия, обряды) Сына Божия Иисуса Христа как Богочеловека и спасителя мира, возникшая в нач. 1 в. н. э. в Римской империи и существующая в трёх основных направлениях: православии, католицизме и протестантизме. Исповедовать х. Принятие христианства на Руси (988-989 гг.).

Christianity: One of three world religions, founded on the cult (serving deity/divineness and related with this acts, rituals) of the Son of God Jesus Christ as God-man [yes we say God-man in Russian] and savior of the world, arisen in the first century of our era in Roman empire and existing in three main directions: orthodoxy, catholicism, and protestantism. Acceptance of Christianity on HOLY MOTHERLAND TOTALLY GREAT AND AWESOME RUS (988-989 years).



Consequently, maybe you can reply to me that religions that aren't based on worship of Son of God Jesus Christ AS God-Man and savior of the world are not "Christian."

Interesting.

Regards.

Russian Dictionary Has Spoken.

 

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stanley123 said:
deusveritasest said:
stanley123 said:
Perhaps the other issues you have mentioned can be softened or clarified to be made acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches, but, personally, I would not agree to abandoning Purgatory.
Purgatory just makes a whole lot of sense to me as I don;t see anyone burning in hellfire eternally for some of the lessor sins. There are so many examples and it is just too obvious that there are lessor sins and there are greater sins and that many of the lessor sins, although they may be a blemish or imperfection on your soul, do not merit eternal damnation in hell. So, no, I would not in good conscience,  be able to give up this idea of Purgatory, although, like I said, I would agree to a modification, softening, or clarification of the other teachings so that they can be reformulated in such a way as to be acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches. 
I think you are misunderstanding the issue with Purgatory. We actually do believe in the purgation of minor sins. Actually, there have been some writers who have said that we believe in the purgation of "the most grievous of sins". The problem with Purgatory is not the purgation. It is the matter of it being a third thing. There is not a foretaste of bliss or torment in Purgatory. It is thus set up as a third state. But we believe that there can only be two states in relation to God: bliss or torment. Any purgation that occurs must happen within those. Thus there is purgation but no third place or state known as Purgatory.
Well, if it is going to be a matter of semantics, then it seems like Purgatory or belief in purgation  is not a problem after all.
it's not semantics.

I looked into this a few years ago. Roman Catholic idea of purgatory is based on place in Paul's letters talking about fire burning things. Orthodox interpretation is that the sins are burned up and trashed, not the person. Peace.

Maybe an analogy is that when someone comes to Christianity we aren't supposed to hold previous sins against them, and don't think God will either when they repent of them. That's supposed to be true for everyone.
 

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deusveritasest said:
Those experiencing the foretaste of Heaven after their death may still be in need of purification before they are able to actually enter into the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven.
I don't think this part is an official doctrine of the Orthodox church, if by purification you mean physical burning up of the believer, as opposed to just the sins.


Anyway, while this is a spurious doctrine, the real OBSTACLE to communion is PAPAL INFALLIBILITY and unequaled SUPREMACY, because you can't have any disagreements about faith with the Pope if you reunite with him, he becomes your boss on everything in matters of faith. Basically, we can't reunite and yet still retain any autocephaly or own differences of doctrine. And Pope won't give it up because of POWER. He still has alot of political power right now, unlike I think Orientals. Whatever the disagreements of Christ's nature, I see reunion as much more possible with Orientals if not for this reason alone, despite all the declarations by the Vatican of the "soon reunion" with Orthodox. Only way to get around this is for Catholics to make VERY strong urges on Pope to give this up, and I don't know how it's possible, because it's considered so important.  :-\

 

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I think it's easy for Orthodox to say to Orientals with the current political situation, look, is all this Monophysite and non-Constantinople-II Miaphysite stuff what you believe? They could say of course not, we reject it, and accept the Miaphysitism that Constantinople II allowed. then reunion and acceptance of the 7 Councils. It could happen fast with the facts on the ground.

With Roman Catholicism, the idea of infallibility and unequal Supremacy is very hard block, unfortunately. Very unfortunate. And I think folks don't realize how big this one is compared to all the other differences like wafers.
 

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Wyatt said:
deusveritasest said:
stanley123 said:
deusveritasest said:
stanley123 said:
Perhaps the other issues you have mentioned can be softened or clarified to be made acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches, but, personally, I would not agree to abandoning Purgatory.
Purgatory just makes a whole lot of sense to me as I don;t see anyone burning in hellfire eternally for some of the lessor sins. There are so many examples and it is just too obvious that there are lessor sins and there are greater sins and that many of the lessor sins, although they may be a blemish or imperfection on your soul, do not merit eternal damnation in hell. So, no, I would not in good conscience,  be able to give up this idea of Purgatory, although, like I said, I would agree to a modification, softening, or clarification of the other teachings so that they can be reformulated in such a way as to be acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches. 
I think you are misunderstanding the issue with Purgatory. We actually do believe in the purgation of minor sins. Actually, there have been some writers who have said that we believe in the purgation of "the most grievous of sins". The problem with Purgatory is not the purgation. It is the matter of it being a third thing. There is not a foretaste of bliss or torment in Purgatory. It is thus set up as a third state. But we believe that there can only be two states in relation to God: bliss or torment. Any purgation that occurs must happen within those. Thus there is purgation but no third place or state known as Purgatory.
Well, if it is going to be a matter of semantics, then it seems like Purgatory or belief in purgation  is not a problem after all.
It's not just a matter of semantics. It seems to us that the Roman tradition creates a third state that is neither torment or bliss. This idea we reject.
If you reject it then why do you pray for the dead? Surely one already experiencing bliss doesn't need prayers, and prayers will do nothing for one who is already experiencing the torments of hell.
We have been around this a time or two.  We pray for the departed because the Church has always done so. Period.

Your church once said "kill them all. Let God sort them out." Somewhat similar concept: we let the Lord apply prayers as He sees fit. We pray in time, He answers from eternity.

The Vatican's obsession of systemizing everything gets it in a lot of trouble.
 

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ialmisry said:
We have been around this a time or two.  We pray for the departed because the Church has always done so. Period.

Your church once said "kill them all. Let God sort them out." Somewhat similar concept: we let the Lord apply prayers as He sees fit. We pray in time, He answers from eternity.

The Vatican's obsession of systemizing everything gets it in a lot of trouble.
Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.

Wow, dude!  :eek:
 

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Wyatt said:
deusveritasest said:
Those experiencing the foretaste of Heaven after their death may still be in need of purification before they are able to actually enter into the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven.
You just described Purgatory.

deusveritasest said:
And yes, we believe that prayers may affect the fate of those experiencing the foretaste of eternal torment.
Here I would disagree as this makes it sound like you can essentially "pray someone out of Hell" which the Catholic Church rejects. Everyone undergoing purification that can be helped by the prayers of the Church Militant are already saved. One who is damned cannot be saved by any amount of prayers.
The Lordn's hand is not shortened that He cannot save.
 

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rakovsky said:
ialmisry said:
We have been around this a time or two.  We pray for the departed because the Church has always done so. Period.

Your church once said "kill them all. Let God sort them out." Somewhat similar concept: we let the Lord apply prayers as He sees fit. We pray in time, He answers from eternity.

The Vatican's obsession of systemizing everything gets it in a lot of trouble.
Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.

Wow, dude!  :eek:
Sorry, you're right: it was "God knows His own."
 

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Wyatt said:
Here I would disagree as this makes it sound like you can essentially "pray someone out of Hell" which the Catholic Church rejects. Everyone undergoing purification that can be helped by the prayers of the Church Militant are already saved. One who is damned cannot be saved by any amount of prayers.
If my sister's fiance wasn't even a Christian and committed suicide, but by praying for him I can offer him one drop of cool water on his tongue to relieve his suffering, then I am compelled to do this out of Christian love and charity. It is my hope and deepest wish that all will be saved and made divine. Kyrie Eleison.
 

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Wyatt said:
Here I would disagree as this makes it sound like you can essentially "pray someone out of Hell" which the Catholic Church rejects. Everyone undergoing purification that can be helped by the prayers of the Church Militant are already saved. One who is damned cannot be saved by any amount of prayers.
If my sister's fiance wasn't even a Christian and committed suicide, but by praying for him I can offer him one drop of cool water on his tongue to relieve his suffering, then I am compelled to do this out of Christian love and charity. It is my hope and deepest wish that all will be saved and made divine. Kyrie Eleison.
Yes, I hope so too, BUT Jesus mentions eternal hellfire in Matthew 25:41. Why would He talk about hell if it did not exist. Further, with reference to Purgatory, it just seems so reasonable to me that for the lessor sins, and I can give you many obvious examples of these, people will not go to the eternal hellfire as mentioned in Matthew 25:41, but will suffer a lessor fate, the temporary fate of Purgatory. Now it is said that this difference is not a matter of semantics and it is not merely a difference of opinion on what constitutes purification after death.  Well, if that is the case, it is not for me to decide this of course, but  I personally would not want any reunion where I would have to give up a belief in Purgatory. 
 

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ialmisry said:
We have been around this a time or two.  We pray for the departed because the Church has always done so. Period.

Your church once said "kill them all. Let God sort them out." Somewhat similar concept: we let the Lord apply prayers as He sees fit. We pray in time, He answers from eternity.

The Vatican's obsession of systemizing everything gets it in a lot of trouble.
If you believe that prayers for the dead are efficacious then you must believe that there is some sort of intermediate state that the soul is in after death but before entering heaven. Just because we have a name for that state (Purgatory) doesn't mean it's wrong. It seems like most Orthodox are more uncomfortable with the word than the concept. You must believe that there is an intermediate state because both heaven and hell are eternal states that the soul is in that cannot be changed by any number of prayers.
 

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stanley123 said:
Alveus Lacuna said:
Wyatt said:
Here I would disagree as this makes it sound like you can essentially "pray someone out of Hell" which the Catholic Church rejects. Everyone undergoing purification that can be helped by the prayers of the Church Militant are already saved. One who is damned cannot be saved by any amount of prayers.
If my sister's fiance wasn't even a Christian and committed suicide, but by praying for him I can offer him one drop of cool water on his tongue to relieve his suffering, then I am compelled to do this out of Christian love and charity. It is my hope and deepest wish that all will be saved and made divine. Kyrie Eleison.
Yes, I hope so too, BUT Jesus mentions eternal hellfire in Matthew 25:41. Why would He talk about hell if it did not exist. Further, with reference to Purgatory, it just seems so reasonable to me that for the lessor sins, and I can give you many obvious examples of these, people will not go to the eternal hellfire as mentioned in Matthew 25:41, but will suffer a lessor fate, the temporary fate of Purgatory. Now it is said that this difference is not a matter of semantics and it is not merely a difference of opinion on what constitutes purification after death.  Well, if that is the case, it is not for me to decide this of course, but  I personally would not want any reunion where I would have to give up a belief in Purgatory. 
Well, since you have figured out our eternal fates, I guess He need not come back for the Last Judgement.
 

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Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
We have been around this a time or two.  We pray for the departed because the Church has always done so. Period.

Your church once said "kill them all. Let God sort them out." Somewhat similar concept: we let the Lord apply prayers as He sees fit. We pray in time, He answers from eternity.

The Vatican's obsession of systemizing everything gets it in a lot of trouble.
If you believe that prayers for the dead are efficacious then you must believe that there is some sort of intermediate state that the soul is in after death but before entering heaven. Just because we have a name for that state (Purgatory) doesn't mean it's wrong. It seems like most Orthodox are more uncomfortable with the word than the concept. You must believe that there is an intermediate state because both heaven and hell are eternal states that the soul is in that cannot be changed by any number of prayers.
yes.
 

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Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
We have been around this a time or two.  We pray for the departed because the Church has always done so. Period.

Your church once said "kill them all. Let God sort them out." Somewhat similar concept: we let the Lord apply prayers as He sees fit. We pray in time, He answers from eternity.

The Vatican's obsession of systemizing everything gets it in a lot of trouble.
If you believe that prayers for the dead are efficacious then you must believe that there is some sort of intermediate state that the soul is in after death but before entering heaven.
No, I don't.

Just because we have a name for that state (Purgatory) doesn't mean it's wrong.
No, it's wrong because God (who alone knows) revealed no such thing, and the Apostles (upon whom we must depend for our information) taught no such thing.

It seems like most Orthodox are more uncomfortable with the word than the concept. You must believe that there is an intermediate state because both heaven and hell are eternal states that the soul is in that cannot be changed by any number of prayers.
And we have another who has relieved the Lord of the responsibility of the Last Judgement....
 

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ialmisry said:
stanley123 said:
Alveus Lacuna said:
Wyatt said:
Here I would disagree as this makes it sound like you can essentially "pray someone out of Hell" which the Catholic Church rejects. Everyone undergoing purification that can be helped by the prayers of the Church Militant are already saved. One who is damned cannot be saved by any amount of prayers.
If my sister's fiance wasn't even a Christian and committed suicide, but by praying for him I can offer him one drop of cool water on his tongue to relieve his suffering, then I am compelled to do this out of Christian love and charity. It is my hope and deepest wish that all will be saved and made divine. Kyrie Eleison.
Yes, I hope so too, BUT Jesus mentions eternal hellfire in Matthew 25:41. Why would He talk about hell if it did not exist. Further, with reference to Purgatory, it just seems so reasonable to me that for the lessor sins, and I can give you many obvious examples of these, people will not go to the eternal hellfire as mentioned in Matthew 25:41, but will suffer a lessor fate, the temporary fate of Purgatory. Now it is said that this difference is not a matter of semantics and it is not merely a difference of opinion on what constitutes purification after death.  Well, if that is the case, it is not for me to decide this of course, but  I personally would not want any reunion where I would have to give up a belief in Purgatory. 
Well, since you have figured out our eternal fates, I guess He need not come back for the Last Judgement.
I am reading  Matthew 25:41 and trying to make sense of what is said there. This refers, I think, to the last judgement.
 

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stanley123 said:
ialmisry said:
stanley123 said:
Alveus Lacuna said:
Wyatt said:
Here I would disagree as this makes it sound like you can essentially "pray someone out of Hell" which the Catholic Church rejects. Everyone undergoing purification that can be helped by the prayers of the Church Militant are already saved. One who is damned cannot be saved by any amount of prayers.
If my sister's fiance wasn't even a Christian and committed suicide, but by praying for him I can offer him one drop of cool water on his tongue to relieve his suffering, then I am compelled to do this out of Christian love and charity. It is my hope and deepest wish that all will be saved and made divine. Kyrie Eleison.
Yes, I hope so too, BUT Jesus mentions eternal hellfire in Matthew 25:41. Why would He talk about hell if it did not exist. Further, with reference to Purgatory, it just seems so reasonable to me that for the lessor sins, and I can give you many obvious examples of these, people will not go to the eternal hellfire as mentioned in Matthew 25:41, but will suffer a lessor fate, the temporary fate of Purgatory. Now it is said that this difference is not a matter of semantics and it is not merely a difference of opinion on what constitutes purification after death.  Well, if that is the case, it is not for me to decide this of course, but  I personally would not want any reunion where I would have to give up a belief in Purgatory. 
Well, since you have figured out our eternal fates, I guess He need not come back for the Last Judgement.
I am reading  Matthew 25:41 and trying to make sense of what is said there. This refers, I think, to the last judgement.
Yes, and?
 

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ialmisry said:
No, it's wrong because God (who alone knows) revealed no such thing, and the Apostles (upon whom we must depend for our information) taught no such thing.
So in your view, someone can be prayed out of hell essentially?
 

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Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
No, it's wrong because God (who alone knows) revealed no such thing, and the Apostles (upon whom we must depend for our information) taught no such thing.
So in your view, someone can be prayed out of hell essentially?
God knows His own. Let Him sort them out.
 

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ialmisry said:
No, it's wrong because God (who alone knows) revealed no such thing, and the Apostles (upon whom we must depend for our information) taught no such thing.
Is your claim then that there is nothing which the Orthodox Church teaches, except that which is directly revealed in Scripture? This seems to me like it is a serious error.
 

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We're saying that we pray for the "dead" because we know that it helps them. That's all that we know. The Church has always done it out of love, and we continue to do so.
 

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Alveus Lacuna said:
We're saying that we pray for the "dead" because we know that it helps them. That's all that we know. The Church has always done it out of love, and we continue to do so.
Has it been revealed by God that it helps to pray for the dead?
 

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45
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48
Age
41
A few random thoughts... humans won't be put into what we call hell until after the last judgment (cf Rev. 20)... St. Mark of Ephesus and other Orthodox seem to have no problem with the idea that the condition of people in the afterlife can be changed through things like prayers... that doesn't necessarily mean that there is a third place that the dead go to...
 
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