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I left.

lovesupreme

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I left the Eastern Orthodox Church a while ago. I became very transfixed on soteriology and ended up looking into Reformed traditions. I've been going to different churches on Sunday, but I haven't joined anywhere yet.

I didn't want to leave and I miss my friends and my community, but I honestly had come to feel no peace. I have very bad scrupulosity, and I ended up just abusing the sacramental system. My priest knew this about me, but nothing we tried together worked. I would always dread going to services, feeling guilty, rushing to confession in order to repeat the revolving door process all over again. I know that's not how you're supposed to do it. I tried many times to take different approaches. At the end of the day, I found myself in a system where I needed to constantly do more to appease God. I know that's not how Orthodoxy is presented, but that's what I experienced.

I came to fully embrace monergism, having seen how futile it was to "cooperate" with God for my salvation. I know most if not all of you disagree with this view. I told my priest early on in my struggle and he even permitted me to stay, but I felt like I would be so out of place and at odds with coreligionists if I rejected the "faith+works" approach of Orthodoxy. I don't reject that works are a vital part of the Christian's life, but I reject that they have anything to do with salvation. That's what I believe.

Anyway, I'm depressed and disconnected at the moment. I've had good interactions with pastors and people at other churches, but I'm scared to make any more immediate decisions. I want to spend more time in prayer and study. I'm pretty certain that I can't go back unless some of my views really did change. I don't know what God wants of me. I need to trust in Him more and listen to what He's telling me.

I ask for your prayers and I thank you for your support in my journey so far. Sorry to scandalize anyone. Thank you. :-\
 

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Only left church after communion but still very much with the Faith
 

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I will certainly be praying for you.  I'm not the sharpest tool in this particular shed, but if you ever want to talk, feel free to PM me or to reach out here in the forum.  I think you're wise to pump the breaks a little bit, fast, and pray.  Maybe try a pilgrimage to an Orthodox monastery, or try visiting a different Orthodox community than the one you usually pray in.  I beg you not to leave the Church.  There is no salvation outside of it for those who know the fullness of the Faith.  You will not find salvation in a Protestant church after leaving the Church: Orthodoxy.  Please be careful and move slowly.  As I said, I will not forget you in my prayers.
 

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Lovesupreme! I remember you! Always found you wise and kind. Welcome back and don't be a stranger. :)
 

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Was thinking of you the other day, weren't you the one who started the cat thread? 

Sorry to hear you are having a hard time of it.  That scrupulous thing, never had that particular one, but remember someone saying something about "not being worthy to receive" because of a truncated prayer rule or something. 

I never think that doing the prayer rule makes me worthy.  Just haven't made that connection.  Maybe I'm wrong, but whatever.  It's a grace and gift, we just do the best we can to prepare.  It's medicine.  Medicine doesn't work if you eat a horrible diet and never exercise.

I don't even know what you are talking about monergism, faith vs works, etc.  Sometimes overthinking things has its drawbacks, seems like, but who am I to say? 

Hope you are soon well, whatever the case.  I agree with Antonious, making quick decision on this is not a good idea, and all the other things he said. 

I've had a terrible struggle myself over the last year, but have hung on by the skin of my teeth.  Mine isn't due to overthinking, just overwork, exhaustion, lack of support, too demanding of a parish, not setting boundaries on them for years, etc.  :)

A lot of us struggle in the parish life.  You aren't alone in that.  It's a real learning ground one way or another.
 

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I did at one point too. Though, I question the wisdom of trying Protestantism after Orthodoxy.
 

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Lovesupreme,

You are in my prayers, and I hope you work with Christ to find that resolution in the Church.  Know also I still think very highly of you brother.

Prayers of St. Basil and St. Gregory the Theologian be with you!

God bless!
 

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It's good to see you back here. Please don't be a stranger!  :)
 

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Interesting. I'm currently in the middle of a near-opposite journey. I was a generic Protestant growing up and then discovered the Reformed tradition with its specifically defined system of monergism-based soteriology, exactly the system you're looking to pursue, thinking this would get me deeper into God. Ah, Calvinism...it seemed like such a good thing for a long time, with its emphasis on God's sovereignty grace and clear logical system. So I can see why it would be attractive, and not long ago I would be rejoicing with you for making this change. In reality, though, Calvinism is a very horrifying thing to believe and subtly distorts what Christianity is about. For whatever help it may have done for me, it did a lot more harm. Worst of all, it brought me away from Christ, rather than to Him. This belief system was a major contributor to basically destroying my belief in God as being more loving than He is wrathful. So I would definitely be careful and know what you are getting into. It doesn't seem so bad at first, just emphasizing God's grace and sovereignty, seems pretty logical, but its implications are troublesome, to say the least.

All I'm saying is, be careful. But it's possible that this journey will bring about some good in the end, because God works like that. I'll be praying for you. If you want to know more about Calvinism, you can PM me. Not that I'm an expert whatsoever, but I do have some experience. I can talk to you about it in a more neutral way or I can give you the reasons why it may be a path to reconsider, whatever you prefer.

Like most Reformed people, you are probably wholeheartedly doing your best to honor God and to find the truth of the faith. For that I honor you sincerely. :) God bless you on your spiritual journey, hope it leads to a good place.
 

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I can understand how that could happen to people who are new to Orthodoxy. I believe I had some similar symptoms before and I believe that was due to reading too much and too soon various monastic literature. It might be profitable to some people but some people it might lead into burn out.
 

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lovesupreme said:
At the end of the day, I found myself in a system where I needed to constantly do more to appease God. I know that's not how Orthodoxy is presented, but that's what I experienced.
I don't want to put words in your mouth, brother, but are you saying that you felt God was angry or disappointed with you?

I don't reject that works are a vital part of the Christian's life, but I reject that they have anything to do with salvation. That's what I believe.
I think the word "works" sometimes comes with a lot of baggage, particularly for those of us who've come from a Protestant background.  I could be wrong, but we're not doing good works to earn our salvation but that because of our faith we'll behave in a certain manner; the way we act towards one another, the way we speak towards one another and so on.  These "works" are a natural consequence of following Christ.  I hope that makes sense.  I'm just a country boy and not as articulate as I'd like.  :)

Anyway, I'm depressed...
I don't mean to pry, but you might benefit from talking to a therapist.  There's absolutely no shame in doing so.

  I'm pretty certain that I can't go back unless some of my views really did change.
Oh, I don't know about that.  God understands our weaknesses and your Priest or Spiritual Father is always more than willing to listen and help you work through these things.  And in addition to talking with him, if you have any good friends at your church you might speak with them as well.  You never know, they might have gone through the same things.

I ask for your prayers and I thank you for your support in my journey so far. Sorry to scandalize anyone. Thank you. :-\
You got 'em, brother.  And I don't think you've scandalized anyone.
 

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Thanks for all of your responses so far.

GabrieltheCelt said:
I don't want to put words in your mouth, brother, but are you saying that you felt God was angry or disappointed with you?
More precisely I felt that God's love was conditional on whether or not I "did more" for my faith (increasing my prayers, going to confession more). I know that's not what Orthodoxy teaches but when you have severe OCD you can't shake obsessions even when you're constantly being reassured with sound advice from your priest.
 

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lovesupreme said:
... when you have severe OCD you can't shake obsessions...
Have you been professionally diagnosed with OCD? If not, it'd be well worth the investment.  These things can be successfully treated and managed.  Don't mean to get in your business...
 

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GabrieltheCelt said:
Have you been professionally diagnosed with OCD?
Yes. I've been in and out of treatment. I should go back.
 

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Hi lovesupreme, it's great to see you again.

lovesupreme said:
I left the Eastern Orthodox Church a while ago. I became very transfixed on soteriology and ended up looking into Reformed traditions. I've been going to different churches on Sunday, but I haven't joined anywhere yet.

I didn't want to leave and I miss my friends and my community, but I honestly had come to feel no peace. I have very bad scrupulosity, and I ended up just abusing the sacramental system. My priest knew this about me, but nothing we tried together worked. I would always dread going to services, feeling guilty, rushing to confession in order to repeat the revolving door process all over again. I know that's not how you're supposed to do it. I tried many times to take different approaches. At the end of the day, I found myself in a system where I needed to constantly do more to appease God. I know that's not how Orthodoxy is presented, but that's what I experienced.

I came to fully embrace monergism, having seen how futile it was to "cooperate" with God for my salvation. I know most if not all of you disagree with this view. I told my priest early on in my struggle and he even permitted me to stay, but I felt like I would be so out of place and at odds with coreligionists if I rejected the "faith+works" approach of Orthodoxy. I don't reject that works are a vital part of the Christian's life, but I reject that they have anything to do with salvation. That's what I believe.
I too have found the common discourse around faith+works, synergy, etc to be inadequate. I see the attraction of the Reformed system in this regard, as it can cut away a lot of anxiety (if you can avoid agonizing about whether you're in the elect or not). I think the proper Orthodox answer to this should not start with synergy, "faith without works is dead", and all that, true as that may be in a certain context. It should start with the fact of the Incarnation. One thing majorly lacking in the Reformed system, at least as presented in its major confessional statements, is an understanding of the Incarnation as anything more than a component in a formula, without any immediate impact on the life of other human beings. God had to become a human being to take the full measure of our condemnation in our place and then he could apply the resulting grace to the select group he chose to save.

Reading a text like Saint Athanasius' On the Incarnation, however, I am struck by the sense that God's assumption of our human nature had an immediate salvific effect for all humanity. Likewise all the events of his life, death, and resurrection impinge upon all of us in some mysterious way, by virtue, first of all, of our common nature. And this is borne out and confirmed in the festal cycle and the sacraments where we deeply participate in these saving events. Christ saved us by becoming one of us, deifying our life here on earth, dying with us, and then raising us with him and lifting us to heaven. In that sense, nowhere do our works come into place here, because the saving work is done. Our works come into place with, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments", "Not I, but Christ in me," etc. 
 

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lovesupreme said:
GabrieltheCelt said:
Have you been professionally diagnosed with OCD?
Yes. I've been in and out of treatment. I should go back.
I think it would be worthwhile.  Once the stumbling blocks to engagement are removed (i.e. being under treatment for the OCD you cannot control), it will be easier to grapple with the faith. 

In the meantime, remember that Orthodoxy sometimes needs to be lived before it is understood; do your best to be a good person, and (IMO) read the 50th (51st) Psalm daily, for it's reminders are particularly helpful:

Ps 50: 6-12 - Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Fill me with joy and gladness; let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice.  Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

He is the one who can purge you, fill you, blot out your sins, create your clean heart, etc.  Don't fret about not praying enough for Him or somehow appeasing Him - just be there with Him and for Him and He'll do the work for (and with) you.

Also:

Ps 50: 16-17 - For thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.  The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

What is going to please Him is you, not what you do.  Offer yourself regardless of how you feel (inadequate, broken, sinful, depraved, etc.).

Remember: St. David the King offered this prayer after committing adultery and murder; the Lord was willing and able to forgive him.  Regardless of what you've done or not done, He can do the same for you.
 

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Iconodule said:
Hi lovesupreme, it's great to see you again.

lovesupreme said:
I left the Eastern Orthodox Church a while ago. I became very transfixed on soteriology and ended up looking into Reformed traditions. I've been going to different churches on Sunday, but I haven't joined anywhere yet.

I didn't want to leave and I miss my friends and my community, but I honestly had come to feel no peace. I have very bad scrupulosity, and I ended up just abusing the sacramental system. My priest knew this about me, but nothing we tried together worked. I would always dread going to services, feeling guilty, rushing to confession in order to repeat the revolving door process all over again. I know that's not how you're supposed to do it. I tried many times to take different approaches. At the end of the day, I found myself in a system where I needed to constantly do more to appease God. I know that's not how Orthodoxy is presented, but that's what I experienced.

I came to fully embrace monergism, having seen how futile it was to "cooperate" with God for my salvation. I know most if not all of you disagree with this view. I told my priest early on in my struggle and he even permitted me to stay, but I felt like I would be so out of place and at odds with coreligionists if I rejected the "faith+works" approach of Orthodoxy. I don't reject that works are a vital part of the Christian's life, but I reject that they have anything to do with salvation. That's what I believe.
I too have found the common discourse around faith+works, synergy, etc to be inadequate. I see the attraction of the Reformed system in this regard, as it can cut away a lot of anxiety (if you can avoid agonizing about whether you're in the elect or not). I think the proper Orthodox answer to this should not start with synergy, "faith without works is dead", and all that, true as that may be in a certain context. It should start with the fact of the Incarnation. One thing majorly lacking in the Reformed system, at least as presented in its major confessional statements, is an understanding of the Incarnation as anything more than a component in a formula, without any immediate impact on the life of other human beings. God had to become a human being to take the full measure of our condemnation in our place and then he could apply the resulting grace to the select group he chose to save.

Reading a text like Saint Athanasius' On the Incarnation, however, I am struck by the sense that God's assumption of our human nature had an immediate salvific effect for all humanity. Likewise all the events of his life, death, and resurrection impinge upon all of us in some mysterious way, by virtue, first of all, of our common nature. And this is borne out and confirmed in the festal cycle and the sacraments where we deeply participate in these saving events. Christ saved us by becoming one of us, deifying our life here on earth, dying with us, and then raising us with him and lifting us to heaven. In that sense, nowhere do our works come into place here, because the saving work is done. Our works come into place with, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments", "Not I, but Christ in me," etc.
+1
 

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Iconodule said:
I too have found the common discourse around faith+works, synergy, etc to be inadequate. I see the attraction of the Reformed system in this regard, as it can cut away a lot of anxiety (if you can avoid agonizing about whether you're in the elect or not). I think the proper Orthodox answer to this should not start with synergy, "faith without works is dead", and all that, true as that may be in a certain context. It should start with the fact of the Incarnation.
I have my suspicions that I've been transplanting Roman Catholic views into the discourse. Whenever I read arguments against synergism, they are strictly in reaction to Roman Catholicism. I convinced myself that the same basically applies to Eastern Orthodoxy. To be fair, most if not all of the Orthodox sources I consulted on this issue sounded exactly like Roman Catholics. It's either that or no answer at all. I know Orthodox say that the West asks the wrong questions ("two sides of the same coin", etc.), but is it possible that they are adopting Western language without considering how that might change their presentation of their own faith?

I can't really figure it out at the moment.
 

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lovesupreme said:
Iconodule said:
I too have found the common discourse around faith+works, synergy, etc to be inadequate. I see the attraction of the Reformed system in this regard, as it can cut away a lot of anxiety (if you can avoid agonizing about whether you're in the elect or not). I think the proper Orthodox answer to this should not start with synergy, "faith without works is dead", and all that, true as that may be in a certain context. It should start with the fact of the Incarnation.
I have my suspicions that I've been transplanting Roman Catholic views into the discourse. Whenever I read arguments against synergism, they are strictly in reaction to Roman Catholicism. I convinced myself that the same basically applies to Eastern Orthodoxy. To be fair, most if not all of the Orthodox sources I consulted on this issue sounded exactly like Roman Catholics. It's either that or no answer at all. I know Orthodox say that the West asks the wrong questions ("two sides of the same coin", etc.), but is it possible that they are adopting Western language without considering how that might change their presentation of their own faith?

I can't really figure it out at the moment.
Most people who talk about monergism vs. synergism, who advocate for monergism, do so because they somewhere, somehow think it helps them cope with compulsions or weakness of will or both (often they are one and the same). It's about what losing that would mean, it's like if they give up monergism they lose the short circuit that allows them to get past the compulsions.

So would you be willing to swap monergism in for a better tool, I guess? It's not perfect, it's not medication, but hey... what if you treated your mental content as nearly morally worthless?

Like pretend you're Martin Luther compulsively fantasizing horrible things about the saints, etc. What if, instead of saying: "clearly that's me, and I'm depraved, I need to surrender to a higher power" you said "the place where that stuff shows up isn't the real me, when I look inside myself I never find myself, who cares what goes on there"?

Easier said than done but what do you think? Is that worth working towards somehow?


 

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NicholasMyra said:
Most people who talk about monergism vs. synergism, who advocate for monergism, do so because they somewhere, somehow think it helps them cope with compulsions or weakness of will or both (often they are one and the same). It's about what losing that would mean, it's like if they give up monergism they lose the short circuit that allows them to get past the compulsions.

So would you be willing to swap monergism in for a better tool, I guess? It's not perfect, it's not medication, but hey... what if you treated your mental content as nearly morally worthless?

Like pretend you're Martin Luther compulsively fantasizing horrible things about the saints, etc. What if, instead of saying: "clearly that's me, and I'm depraved, I need to surrender to a higher power" you said "the place where that stuff shows up isn't the real me, when I look inside myself I never find myself, who cares what goes on there"?

Easier said than done but what do you think? Is that worth working towards somehow?
I'm familiar with the psychological tactic of detachment. To be honest, I really have come to reject synergism in favor of monergism. I get what you're saying, but I would need to intellectually change. Seeing how I've spent the past 6 months obsessing about the issue, I don't think a pithy remark in either direction is going to move me. I'm not convinced I have the truth, though. I will continue to study.
 

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I'm not seeking to change your mind, but I'm interested in where this thought has led you. Do you believe that prayer changes things? Does it have any effect on the object for which is being prayed for? If so, how do you reconcile the fact that God is the sole mover with the idea that man through prayer is capable of affecting change? If you don't believe that prayer changes anything, what purpose is prayer?
 

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So, the Church is wrong, and you're right. Okay? I don't see why you continue to remain a Christian then. If anyone can just overwrite what is infallible, then why not just become an existentialist and make up whatever form of meaning and morality you want to?
 

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
So, the Church is wrong, and you're right. Okay? I don't see why you continue to remain a Christian then. If anyone can just overwrite what is infallible, then why not just become an existentialist and make up whatever form of meaning and morality you want to?
Go away.
 

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Iconodule said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
So, the Church is wrong, and you're right. Okay? I don't see why you continue to remain a Christian then. If anyone can just overwrite what is infallible, then why not just become an existentialist and make up whatever form of meaning and morality you want to?
Go away.


Honestly, get over it. It's not a hard thing to grasp. You either believe in something or you don't, if you don't then you have to consider the logical outcomes of the line of reasoning that you follow. That's philosophy, that's dialectic. Deal with it.
 

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
Iconodule said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
So, the Church is wrong, and you're right. Okay? I don't see why you continue to remain a Christian then. If anyone can just overwrite what is infallible, then why not just become an existentialist and make up whatever form of meaning and morality you want to?
Go away.


Honestly, get over it. It's not a hard thing to grasp. You either believe in something or you don't, if you don't then you have to consider the logical outcomes of the line of reasoning that you follow. That's philosophy, that's dialectic. Deal with it.
Wow you're really cool
 

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TheTrisagion said:
I'm not seeking to change your mind, but I'm interested in where this thought has led you. Do you believe that prayer changes things? Does it have any effect on the object for which is being prayed for? If so, how do you reconcile the fact that God is the sole mover with the idea that man through prayer is capable of affecting change? If you don't believe that prayer changes anything, what purpose is prayer?
I've never believed that prayer, in and of itself, affects change. Prayer to me has always been the aligning of our will with God's will. God changes things, but uses our prayers as a means of the change. If it's God's will to heal someone, and we pray for that person, our prayers serve as a means of grace by which God heals that person. I really don't think my view of prayer has changed at all.
 

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Iconodule said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
So, the Church is wrong, and you're right. Okay? I don't see why you continue to remain a Christian then. If anyone can just overwrite what is infallible, then why not just become an existentialist and make up whatever form of meaning and morality you want to?
Go away.
+1
 

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NicholasMyra said:
It's not detachment, it's seeing the realm of "thoughts" as a worthless hall of shadows, a mere flicker compared to embodied life.
Maybe not the right word then. I get what you mean, at any rate.

NicholasMyra said:
Why do you say that?
I have given mental assent to an idea. That would need to change for me to let go of monergism. Now, that could be caused by anything, but the intellectual framework still needs to change, no? I don't know, maybe I'm overthinking (as usual).
 

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lovesupreme said:
TheTrisagion said:
I'm not seeking to change your mind, but I'm interested in where this thought has led you. Do you believe that prayer changes things? Does it have any effect on the object for which is being prayed for? If so, how do you reconcile the fact that God is the sole mover with the idea that man through prayer is capable of affecting change? If you don't believe that prayer changes anything, what purpose is prayer?
I've never believed that prayer, in and of itself, affects change. Prayer to me has always been the aligning of our will with God's will. God changes things, but uses our prayers as a means of the change. If it's God's will to heal someone, and we pray for that person, our prayers serve as a means of grace by which God heals that person. I really don't think my view of prayer has changed at all.
I don't think anyone would say that prayer, in and of itself, affects change. It would be in conjunction with God working through it (i.e. synergism). I suppose this would depend on what you now believe regarding the Eucharist, but if it is truly the Body and Blood of Christ, then it is transformed when it is consecrated. If monergism is true, then the prayer requesting that it become the Body and Blood of Christ is of no effect? God would transform it even if we didn't ask Him?

What about Scripture where it says the prayers of the righteous man avails much? What is it availing if no change comes as a result of it?
 

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TheTrisagion said:
lovesupreme said:
TheTrisagion said:
I'm not seeking to change your mind, but I'm interested in where this thought has led you. Do you believe that prayer changes things? Does it have any effect on the object for which is being prayed for? If so, how do you reconcile the fact that God is the sole mover with the idea that man through prayer is capable of affecting change? If you don't believe that prayer changes anything, what purpose is prayer?
I've never believed that prayer, in and of itself, affects change. Prayer to me has always been the aligning of our will with God's will. God changes things, but uses our prayers as a means of the change. If it's God's will to heal someone, and we pray for that person, our prayers serve as a means of grace by which God heals that person. I really don't think my view of prayer has changed at all.
I don't think anyone would say that prayer, in and of itself, affects change. It would be in conjunction with God working through it (i.e. synergism). I suppose this would depend on what you now believe regarding the Eucharist, but if it is truly the Body and Blood of Christ, then it is transformed when it is consecrated. If monergism is true, then the prayer requesting that it become the Body and Blood of Christ is of no effect? God would transform it even if we didn't ask Him?

What about Scripture where it says the prayers of the righteous man avails much? What is it availing if no change comes as a result of it?
In the Reformed understanding, this is explained by saying that God ordains both the ends and the means. So, when a righteous man prays for someone to be healed, it is only because God decreed that the man's prayers would be a means of healing. I know this makes God look like a puppetmaster just playing with people to enact His purposes, but that's not really the point. The point is to defend God's sovereignty and deny the idea that a man can change God's will, even if, as responsible agents with our own wills (of course, not in the libertarian sense), we do call on God freely when we pray.

This is how I understand it, anyway. And I know there are objections to this view, of course. I'm just answering your questions from my current perspective.
 

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lovesupreme said:
The point is to defend God's sovereignty and deny the idea that a man can change God's will, even if, as responsible agents with our own wills (of course, not in the libertarian sense), we do call on God freely when we pray.
How does your tradition interpret passages like Exodus 32.7-14?
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
How does your tradition interpret passages like Exodus 32.7-14?
I feel like this sort of discussion could go on forever, and that's not really my intention. You can certainly search for the Reformed understanding of that and other passages if you're interested. I can see the shortcomings in various interpretations.
 

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lovesupreme said:
Mor Ephrem said:
How does your tradition interpret passages like Exodus 32.7-14?
I feel like this sort of discussion could go on forever, and that's not really my intention. You can certainly search for the Reformed understanding of that and other passages if you're interested. I can see the shortcomings in various interpretations.
Gotcha.  I didn't mean to put you on the spot, but this is somewhat new to me.  If you have any tips on where to begin, feel free to send me a PM if/when convenient. 
 

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I drove out of town to go to a Vespers service tonight. I didn't want to run into anyone, but I ended up briefly talking to someone who recognized me. I wanted to remember and revisit. I guess I have a lot to process still. That's all.
 

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I also have the scruples problem or I disobey them sometimes because I am told they are irrational though it makes me feel bad I disobey it
My father of confession said in a talk that a lot of people come to confession because they focus on stopping the small sins first or they are going to hell while neglecting the main problem. Maybe he meant like Jesus said you tithe mint and Cummin and have neglected the more important laws. Jesus seemed to teach if you do the important things you will know what to do with the small. Some sins are only sins because we believe it to be a sin. Therefore if we work more on the major and are then able to understand how to use love as the basis of our problem I hope we will have less problem
I don't know exactly what he said or meant just trying to remember. I still  think disobeying our conscience can lead to hell. Paul said whatever is without faith is sin. Jesus said cleanse the inner and the outer will be clean also. Our outer self is our image of righteousness which people think stopping small sins are the main problem and give a image of righteousness. It does give the image of righteousness but what gives greater image is knowing the difference between true sin and not sin. What is important is the image of righteousness of the gospel and not our own. Also glory must be to God not to ourselves. Paul says some have exercised their senses to discern between good and evil. Some things I believe are sin like piracy and they are not scruples but there are situations when piracy is justified I think atleast especially if you will pay later and can not get a hold now or to test product if it even works on computer and does what you want it to do. Not every program has a trial or adequate solution. They may need the product to be accessible in your nearest store and to test it easily

 

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"but I reject that they have anything to do with salvation. That's what I believe."

This is 100 percent correct. Though in the end works of love is the most important thing, not faith.

"In the Reformed understanding, this is explained by saying that God ordains both the ends and the means. So, when a righteous man prays for someone to be healed, it is only because God decreed that the man's prayers would be a means of healing."

This Though is the most laughable view of God that exists on earth. It makes God ridiculous and laughable.

"The point is to defend God's sovereignty "

Why are such defences even necessary, and why are these explanations, that make man fall from God childish faith Into a darkeness of dogmaticism, necessary? If we really obcess so much with understanding exactly how God works, defending some of his attributes that we for some strange reason believe needs to be defended, ett hasn't it more often occured to us that God then should make this more Clear to us? Because defining these relations are not necessary, but only a stumble block.
 

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Iconodule said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
Iconodule said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
So, the Church is wrong, and you're right. Okay? I don't see why you continue to remain a Christian then. If anyone can just overwrite what is infallible, then why not just become an existentialist and make up whatever form of meaning and morality you want to?
Go away.


Honestly, get over it. It's not a hard thing to grasp. You either believe in something or you don't, if you don't then you have to consider the logical outcomes of the line of reasoning that you follow. That's philosophy, that's dialectic. Deal with it.
Wow you're really cool
He is 100 percent correct though.
 
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